We all need photographers to capture some memorable moments that we can cherish all our lives. From major events like weddings & stage performances to personal ones like birthday parties and family portraits. We are always on the lookout for that one professional photographer who can click frame-worthy pictures! At some point in our lives, we have also tried our hands at photography with the good old DSLR camera, which was all the rage when it launched. While clicking pictures for fun is one thing, being a professional photographer requires knowledge, practice and experience among other things. We might get lucky and end up with one or two good pictures among the zillion ones we clicked, but that won’t work every time. A professional photographer is all about the quality and consistency in their pictures. Well that isn’t something that just happens overnight, it’s going to take time, effort, skill, interest and practice to get there. That’s what this blog is going to be all about. We are going to be giving you some very useful insights that will help you in your journey of becoming a great photographer!
What is Photography
Photography is the art of capturing light through the means of a digital medium like a camera that develops an image of the same. Photography is technical as much as it’s creative. As we all have used a camera at some point in our lives, we know how to click and capture basic pictures. Because you have had the chance of capturing pictures, many of you might have realised by now if photography interests you! If you want to build a career in photography, there are some things that we can help you get started with!
How To Become A Professional Photographer
As a professional photographer, you can either work for an agency or take up freelance projects of your own. If you are serious about a career in photography, there are certain boxes that you need to check before jumping right in. We have got you covered there and will be discussing in detail about everything that will help you in establishing a career in photography!
Get the Right Education
- Having a professional degree in photography will be an excellent place to start towards becoming a professional photographer. Look for photography courses that work well with your vision and enroll yourself with that program. Hamstech offers some professional photography course options to choose from! During your initial days of learning, these photography courses will provide you with all the knowledge, information and experience that you need. You will also be doing internships and working under professional photographers who have lots of experience in this field. All this hands-on practical experience will improve your photography skills and give you important insights into the world of photography.
- Other than acing your photography skills with a professional photography course, you’ll also have to know how to run a business. There are many short term business programs that you can do while working. This will be of great help to you when you start working as a freelance photographer or would like to start a photo studio of your own!
Do Your Market Research
- In any creative field, market survey is really important. The catch here is for you to offer services that are unique and in demand to be able to survive in this competitive industry of photography. Check out other photographers in the industry and see the kind of work they are doing. This will not just help you in knowing your competition better but also give you an idea about what people are liking the most these days.
- Market research is the best way to know what you have to offer that’s unique while also not being too eccentric. While there is an audience for every kind of art, you need to know what you are good at and see if that interests people.
- All forms of art require constant practice to achieve that perfection you’re looking for! Photography isn’t any different from other art forms either. When you are starting out, there might be some ideas that you would like to try out. While working on those ideas, you might stumble across some new ones! The point here is to keep practicing your photography skills and gradually improving them! Give yourself a new challenge every day and thrive to get that perfect shot that you have planned in your head. Experimenting and working with different kinds of lighting, angles and lenses will help you in knowing what to expect from certain settings.
- Don’t wait for client projects to come by! One of the best things about being a freelance photographer or having your own studio is you have some time on your hands to explore different types of photography. So grab your camera and get going! There is so much that you can still learn about photography out there, so make use of your time by practicing your photography skills. By the time the next project comes by you’ll have new things to offer that you discovered during your practice photography sessions.
Discover Your Niche
- While being the Jack of all trades is nice, it can get too much especially when it’s a creative profession like photography. There are so many different kinds of photography and mastering them is going to take a lot of hard work and time.
So try out different kinds of photography like wedding photography, portraits, wildlife photography, candid photography, fashion photography, product photography and so on. Figure out which kind of photography comes naturally to you and ignites you the most! When you combine practice, experience with natural talent, you could create wonders!
- Identify and choose your niche and then diversify in whatever you have to offer. Picking a niche and establishing yourself in the same, will create a loyal customer base. You should also be looking at the commercial aspects of a niche that you select. If your only source of income is this then it’s important to know how much a certain niche can help you earn. You can also take up side projects for the niche that you’re interested in while working mainly on the niche that pays well! Take your time, do your homework and settle on a niche that works for you in all ways.
Build a Social Media Presence
- We are currently living in the digital age, where almost everything is accessible through the click of a button. Naturally everybody derives their information online from websites, blogs, social media handles, networking sites and applications. It becomes all the more important that you establish your brand on social media for better reach and networking. Start by creating a business page on trending platforms like facebook, Instagram and twitter. Constantly keep posting snips of your work and projects as seeing your work visually will have a much better impact on your audience. Interact with your audience and stay active on your social media handles.
- Connect with professionals from your field of work and other photography pages to keep up with the trends in photography. If needed, do an online course to learn about all the tips and ways in which social media works. This will help you in building a unique and strong brand that people will be interested to be a part of!
- Promote yourself online! Don’t hold yourself back. During the initial days of starting a photo studio or a photography brand, you need to reach as many people as you can. These people will turn into prospective clients, which is the whole point. All social platforms offer options to promote your page through advertisements, pop ups and so on. Make use of these and showcase your work to a larger audience. For example, if you are a professional wedding photographer and if there is a person out there looking for one, these promotions will show up on their feed and make your brand page accessible to them!
- It’s no surprise that photography equipment is quite expensive. Don’t just rush and buy every single photography equipment suggested online and end up wasting money. When you are starting off as a professional photographer, it’s important to manage your expenses smartly. Work with what you have and then build from there! There is no point in investing in high end photography equipment when you have no projects to work on! Use whatever equipment you have to the best of its ability for your initial projects. Don’t compromise on the quality of work that you can deliver. Once you start landing bigger projects, you can reward yourself with new equipment!
- Explore other options like renting. We have many photo studios that are ready to rent out their equipment on a daily basis, which can be very helpful when you don’t want to spend all of your investment on just your photography gear. The renting prices are very affordable making them a great option.
- If you have the plans of starting your own photo studio but aren’t ready to do it just yet, then try working for other professional photographers in the industry. You will be learning a lot through projects and can also save up enough to fund yourself in a few years. Working for professional photographers will also help you in building relationships with professionals in the industry. When it’s time for your brand, you would have a portfolio ready and some prior clients to start with.
Work on Building Your Portfolio
- When a client approaches you for a project they would definitely want to look at your prior work. A well designed photography portfolio will give them an idea about the kind of work you do and if that’s something they are looking for!
- Create a website or a digital portfolio and upload its link onto your social media handles so that it can be easily accessed when people come across your profile. Also include the different kinds of services that you offer in your work portfolio. As photography projects are client oriented, be open to work on the angles that the clients would like to have. Get back to them with options that will work for their ideas, this will help in building a loyal clientele for your brand.
Even after becoming a professional photographer there will be so much for you to learn and explore in photography. These are some points that will be very useful in your journey to being a professional photographer.
Everything mentioned above might seem exhaustive, but these will prove to be very useful when you plan on taking up professional photography. Photography is a skill that you keep getting better at with experience. So keep working and trying out new things to discover the kind of photography that interests you the most. The industry is pretty competitive, so it’s important that you know what you want, to stay focused and relevant. There are many professional photographers doing some notable work out there! Get inspired from their work and start working towards your career as a professional photographer.